Amazon hiring economists, IQ levels, Intuition vs loyalty & Execution & data
10th January 2021 Evolution Partners Newsletter
“More and more MBA students come to school thinking that a career in business means buying, selling, and investing in companies. That’s unfortunate. Doing deals doesn’t yield the deep rewards that come from building up people.” Clayton Christensen
Hope you’re Thriving!
Over the holiday season, I’ve collected some of my favourite articles from the year to share with you. Kind of like a best-of from 2020. Couple this with the reading list and hopefully there is something of real interest and value for you each week.
I’m keeping them short and sharp.
Enjoy your holidays, stay safe and I hope you enjoy.
See you in 2021!
My favourite articles
Amazon hiring economists for the best information
I’ve always been a big fan of non-traditional hiring to get the right information, thereby helping leaders to make better decisions. In 2000 when my company was tiny, instead of hiring a bookkeeper, I hired a CPA accountant to manage the company finances in order to provide more insightful data and reporting, thereby enabling us to make better decisions.
That’s why I was interested to read this article about Amazon now being the number 1 private employer of economists, after Government agencies, and that they are achieving a tactical advantage in doing so.
Previously leaders would rely on input from software engineers and analysts to make better decisions using data, but now economists are using that data and applying a new layer of thinking. From the article “Imagine if you’re a very large retailer that has a large number of locations, we could typically predict with about 30% to 40% accuracy what the likely performance is of that retail location. With the current capabilities with machine learning and artificial intelligence, we can get close to 90% accuracy in forecasting business at a particular location.”It’s also fascinating how at first Amazon tried and failed to solve problems using psychologists, and now the economists are solving those same problems because they are considering the profit motive.
Interestingly, in the year since the article was published, the number of economists jobs advertised at Amazon has almost doubled from 46 to 79.
Why our IQ levels are higher than our grandparents
This week I watched one of my favourite TED talks again that I wanted to share with you. When we think about intelligence, what does it mean, can we actually become smarter, and gain a higher IQ? Between 1900 and 2012, average IQ rose nearly 30 points, which means that the average person of 2012 had a higher IQ than 95 per cent of the population had in 1900. But why? Are we evolving as a species? Were the IQ tests unreliable? Is it simply a better education system?
Well, Professor James Flynn from the University of Otago in New Zealand identifies that since 1900 people have developed abstract thinking, the ability to consider potential, as yet unvalidated options as possibilities, something that we do all the time through the strategic thinking process. When he studied interviews with IQ test-takers in 1900 he realised that they were unable to consider things that were not real.
Said one of the subjects “How can we solve things that aren’t real problems. None of these problems is real, how can we address them?” and Flynn goes onto say “They were resistant to speculating about the hypothetical, about what might be. They only could deal with concrete problems, for example, if they have had only ever seen a brown bear, and weren’t told that white bears exist by a wise person, they could not believe that white bears exist.”
Watch the TED talk below
Why our IQ levels are higher than our grandparents’
Intuition vs Loyalty
Broadly as leaders, we need to take more time hiring, and less time firing.Let’s think about the second part, firing.
What is your intuition telling you about a situation?
I’m a big fan of the concept that most decisions are made by the subconscious, and the conscious is simply a reactive beast that feeds information to the subconscious. For example, need to make a big decision? Sleep on it.
Imagine then that your subconscious manifests itself as intuition to protect you during the day-to-day, but there is very little connection between conscious and intuition.
Next, think about the yin/yang symbol, two parts of the whole.And as you look at the image below, and consider the importance and competitive nature of these two elements in the context of firing, consider that they are both important parts of your being, but you need to stop letting your loyalty trap you into situations that your intuition is trying to pull you out of.
Ask what is loyalty telling me? What is intuition telling me?
Let your conscious, the reactive beast, add the appropriate weight to each of these elements.
This week on The Growth Whisperers podcast
On episode 39 of The Growth Whisperers, Kevin Lawrence and I talk about the following.
What you must do on execution and data heading into 2021 (part 3 of 4).
This week on The Growth Whisperers we continue the third of a four-part series where we discuss the important things you need to do heading into 2021. In this third part, we discuss two aspects. Why you must improve your execution in 2021, and the importance of your data in 2021.
Why you must improve your execution heading into 2021.
Brad and Kevin talk about the importance of focussing on effective execution in 2021, and why this is so valuable at the moment.
The importance of your data heading into 2021.
Next, they talk about how you should be using data in 2021 and provide 3 specific action items and tools you should do to improve your use of data in 2021.
Listen to The Growth Whisperers
Holiday Reading List
If you’re like me, you often think to yourself ‘how can I occupy my mind while I’m not working in an interesting way that’s improving both my knowledge and effectiveness?’ Maybe not, maybe you think I’m on holiday I want to rest. But either way, I’ve curated a list to get you thinking over the holidays. I’ve grouped these into my favourites for each section that you can browse to see what interests you.
Wait But Why – The Story of Us
Scott Galloway – The Algebra of Happiness — A video, not blog but the best way to spend 10 minutes.
Paul Graham – Is it worth being wise?
Naval – How to get rich every episode
How to write better emails
Blog posts I’ve written
Tim Ferris & Jim Collins First
Tim Ferris & Jim Collins Second
Joe Rogan & Naval Ravikant
How I built this with Guy Raz – Dyson, James Dyson
Sam Harris with Jonathan Haidt (The Coddling of the American Mind)
Shane Parish & Jim Dethmer: Leading Above the Line
Upcoming Event 1
As a part of the Evolution Partners network, you can save $100 on tickets to see the best-selling author of Good To Great, JIM COLLINS at his live global virtual event: Jim Collins – The Roadmap To Greatness on Tuesday 23 February 2021.
All New Findings & World-Changing Insights
Coinciding with the release of his new book, BE 2.0. business leaders and their teams will be among the first to receive Jim Collins’ highly anticipated business-changing framework, “The Map”.
A one-page framework, The Map distils 30 years of Jim’s revolutionary Good to Great® concepts into a single roadmap to build an extraordinary organisation; one that sustains high performance, leads and shapes its industry and remains great for generations.
SECURE YOUR ‘FRONT ROW’ SEAT IN THIS IMMERSIVE EVENT
One of only five business authors in history to sell more than 10 million copies worldwide, Jim has authored six best-selling books, but his appearances are rare.
This live virtual event provides direct access to Jim for 2.5 hours of deep learning, allowing time for Q & A on how Jim’s extraordinary guide to business success can be implemented into your company in 2021.
YOU WILL LEARN:
Drawing on three decades of rigorous research, Jim will equip you with:
• The Map — a one-page framework taking you on a sequential path to implement the Good To Great concepts
• How to achieve the outputs of a great company: superior results, distinctive impact and enduring change
• What great companies have in common that distinguish them from their competitors
• Critical strategies, disciplines and practical tools to build a great organisation
Align your leadership team with the most significant thought leader of our time.
Upcoming Event 2
My business would be so much easier if I didn’t have to deal with people!
There are many challenges in the world of business but getting the right people doing the right things, consistently, is the biggest most CEOs and leaders face.
I believe that most people have great intentions – then life and their own issues get in the way.
So, I’m excited to share that we are doing a two-day virtual Topgrading training session, with Chris Mursau, president of Topgrading. Chris is a master Topgrading professional, and a great guy to spend time with.
For the past few years, we’ve hosted a live session, for our clients and network, to learn Topgrading together. This year, my podcast partner Kevin and our team have been working with Chris Mursau on virtual sessions, which we’re pleased to bring to you, in the new year.
The training is designed for two or three people from your company to attend. This provides the best chance of implementing it and creating the changes you need.
If you’re not sure, watch our Topgrading webinar. Chris and Kevin talk about what it takes to build a notably stronger team and how your hiring process can drive that.
HERE ARE THE DETAILS:
Topgrading Virtual Workshop – Feb 2 & 3, 2021
7:30 am to 2:30 pm PST
Immerse yourself in the secrets, shortcuts and proven methods of Topgrading:
- Get hands-on experience conducting chronological interviews and creating thorough Job Scorecards
- Receive personal coaching from hiring expert and Topgrading President Chris Mursau
- Immerse yourself in the proven methods to hire high performers who will drive your company to succeed.
Following the Workshop, participants also receive:
- A complimentary 1-hour coaching call
- Access to an online tool kit
- A two-month free trial of Topgrading Online Solutions (TOLS).
For more information or register, please contact me directly by reply email.
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